Turning Burning into Wind

Yutang Lin

Let wisdom fire burn down the forest of sorrows.
The ensuing heat waves naturally form winds.
Impacts become apparent daily without boasting.
Transcending fames and profits is glory truly.


Disciple Rong Fen (In Chinese "Rong" means glory or prosperity, and "Fen" burning) wanted to ask me to give him another name. When I learned about this, I thought it over for a while, and came up with the name "Rong Feng." ("Rong" remains the same character, but "Feng" means wind.) In Chinese tradition one may have an official name called "Ming," and another name, used by friends or family members, called "Zi." Hence, I advised him to use "Rong Feng" as his Zi so as to avoid the hassle of formally changing his name but simply inform his contacts to use it.

That we may engage in Dharma practices and services is glory beyond worldly fames and profits, hence the word "Rong" stays but is understood to have this new significance.

The original word "Fen" is viewed as signifying the application of wisdom fire to burn down the forest of sorrows. As sorrows are burned away the ensuing heat waves form Feng, i.e., winds. Impacts of winds are apparent everywhere, and yet winds could not be grasped. Similarly, our efforts in Dharma practices and services resulted in influences that became more and more visible day by day. Nevertheless, with deep appreciation of the way of selflessness, we are not proud of the results, nor do we consider them our merits, but just remain humble and silent in the style of the ungraspable winds. Therefore, reasoning in line of causality as well as in line of Dharma significances, "Feng" is the best choice.

Right then he happened to phone me, so I told him all of the above. Upon hearing them, he gladly accepted it, and had since announced his new name to his close circles already.

Written in Chinese on November 10, 2006
Translated on November 29, 2006
El Cerrito, California

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